Engagement Mindset

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BASIC FIGHTER MANEUVERS (BFM)
CHAPTER TEN
Engagement Mindset
As you have already seen from your reading, every engagement can be broken down in terms of
the flow that it is generating. One of the keys to gaining an advantage in high-aspect BFM is
driving the fight into the flow, which will allow you to exploit your aircraft's performance
characteristics. With similar performing aircraft, recognizing the flow first, and then flying your
jet accordingly will achieve the tactical advantage.
The aggressiveness of the maneuvering aircraft just prior to the pass is critical because it will
most often determine the form the engagement will take. To begin with, never accept a neutral
pass. Always try to achieve an advantage in angles or energy at the pass. Since you are fighting
against the same type of aircraft, you can engage in either a rate or a radius fight. Employ your
game plan and drive the fight.
Game Plan Execution (Review)
The student will coordinate a game plan with his IP prior to each initial merge. At first, it may
be difficult to drive the fight the way you want. With experience however, you will be able to
drive the fight and spend more time on the offensive. The crew that goes into a merge without a
game plan will end up reacting to the bandit instead of forcing their will upon the bandit.
For our training purposes, the student will have a choice of two basic game plans as presented in
the "First Move Options Exercise":
FLOW
TYPE FIGHT
T-2C GAME PLAN
"MAX KNOTS
ONE CIRCLE
CLOSE ABOARD
PITCH"
"280
TWO CIRCLE
TURN RATE FIGHT
CLOSE ABOARD
SLICE"
Game Plan 1: "Max Knots, Close Aboard Pitch"
If you are going to fight an aggressive position fight (i.e., one circle/radius fight), attempt to
influence the merge so as to arrive at it already established nose high. Reverse at the pass if
necessary to create one-circle flow. Aggressively use out-of-plane maneuvering to collapse your
circle relative to the bandit's.
An uncooperative bandit may not allow you one-circle flow by reversing its own direction of
turn following your initial reversal. You may be able to reverse your own turn one more time.
However, by this time the range between the jets may have increased sufficiently so as to negate
the effects of turn radius. In other words, excess two-circle conditions exist despite the
appearance of one-circle flow. If you cannot work your game plan now, react to the bandit by
establishing a competitive turn rate, and look for an opportunity to redefine later.
10-51
BASIC FIGHTER MANEUVERS (BFM)

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